NORMAN — It’s a funny thing.
Every time somebody goes down for the Oklahoma women, somebody seems to step up. Even better, Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center, nobody had to be lost for the season for it to happen.
It took the Sooners almost five minutes to finally crack the scoreboard and, to borrow one of coach Sherri Coale’s favorite terms, there was some recess at the end.
In between, especially after Aaryn Ellenberg left with a sprained right ankle, OU was golden and it led to a 74-53 victory.
“They just turned up the intensity,” Coale said, saluting her players. “They paid attention to detail and had a tremendous run in the second half. I keep saying this, but these guys are fun to coach.”
Time stopped inside the arena with 17:17 remaining. Ellenberg, going for a rebound, was fouled by TCU’s Ashley Colbert and fell awkwardly backward, landing in a heap.
A couple minutes later, she walked gingerly off the court before removing her right shoe and being carried, both feet off the ground, to the locker room. She returned to the bench with her shoe back on but was done for the night.
“She’ll be fine,” Coale said.
Though Ellenberg departed, taking her 22.9-point conference scoring average with her, the Sooners took off.
A Sharane Campbell layup put OU on top 37-30 right before Ellenberg was hurt. Next, Campbell turned around and canned 3-pointers on OU’s next three possessions, spurring herself toward a game-high 23 points and spurring the Sooners along a 20-1 run, 17 coming after Ellenberg’s fall.
“I remember looking up at the clock and thinking, ‘Wow, we have 17 minutes left and Aaryn’s hurt.’ Then we just went off and we didn’t even notice that she wasn’t on the court,” junior forward Joanna McFarland said. “That makes a big statement about our team.”